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Displaced families want help to recover their land

Hundreds of families who were left homeless after the demolition of houses in Kinango Sub-county, Kwale County on Friday last week, are now appealing to the government to help them repossess their land from a private developer.

The 200 families’ from Mwamdudu in Bonje area are accusing a private developer of colluding with top government officials and other unscrupulous individuals to grab their ancestral land.

The residents said they couldn’t salvage anything as the demolition caught them unprepared condemning the act, and calling it inhumane and a violation of human rights and access to justice.

A boy prepares a meal outside rumbles of what used to be their house in Mwamdudu village in Kwale County. Photo by Chari Suche

Among the destroyed places are the Mwamdudu secondary school, a dispensary, a children orphanage and other houses.

Led by a resident of Mwadudu village, Ramadhan Lewa Kalume, the locals denied a report that they had entered into consent with the company, but declined to name the top government official behind the land scandal saying it is in the public domain.

Lewa added that as far as they were concerned, the 64 villagers who entered consent with the proxy company were busybodies.

“I wish to insist that we were never consulted in the sale of the land to the private developer,” he pointed out.

The residents are now appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene so that they can get back the land taken from them.

Kalume told journalists the Head of State is the only person who can salvage the situation, arguing that this is because a top government official is involved in the scam.

He was addressing the media at Bonje village in Kinango constituency where they resolved to stay put and face the consequences in the cold.

The local residents alleged those who carried out the demolition exercise with hired goons, were officers from the General Service Unit [GSU] and not regular police.

Ms Salama Kenga, a single mother said they are spending cold nights with their children outside their demolished structure and appealed for government intervention.

Mwanahamisi Ramadhan, a 24- year-old mother of three children said she was not able to salvage any property, but only managed to rescue her three children including a one-day–old child she had given birth to the day the demolitions were conducted.

The distraught mother says she is surviving on handouts from well-wishers to feed her young family and is sleeping outside in the cold with her newborn baby.

By Chari Suche





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